Safe Har­bour? We’ve Got It Here

Canada’s new­est marine pro­tected area in­cludes habi­tat for char, bel­uga, po­lar bears and mur­res—and that’s just for starters.

Canadian Wildlife - - FIELD NOTES -

This past Novem­ber, the gov­ern­ments of Canada and the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries an­nounced the cre­ation of the coun­try’s new­est marine pro­tected area: An­gu­ni­aqvia niqiqyuam.

Lo­cated in the Beau­fort Sea at Darn­ley Bay, near the Inu­vialuit com­mu­nity of Paulatuk, the pro­tected area is an eco­log­i­cally pro­duc­tive re­gion for many marine species. The des­ig­na­tion is based on both sci­en­tific and tra­di­tional knowl­edge, and was de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Inu­vialuit, in­dus­try, non-gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions and other stake­holder groups.

Here, five more de­tails worth know­ing. 1. IN EURO TERMS With an area 2,361 square kilo­me­tres, An­gu­ni­aqvia niqiqyuam is slightly smaller than Lux­em­bourg, one of the small­est coun­tries in Europe.

2. A WORLD LEADER An­gu­ni­aqvia niqiqyuam is home to some 40,000 bel­uga whales each sum­mer, rep­re­sent­ing about a quar­ter of the world pop­u­la­tion.

3. THE ONE AND ONLY The only thick-billed murre colony in Canada’s West­ern Arc­tic is found within An­gu­ni­aqvia niqiqyuam.

4. SAFE AT HOME The re­gion also pro­vides im­por­tant habi­tat for species such as Arc­tic char, cod, bearded and ringed seals, po­lar bears and many species of birds.

5. NUM­BER 9... NUM­BER 9 An­gu­ni­aqvia niqiqyuam is Canada’s ninth marine pro­tected area and the sec­ond des­ig­nated in the Arc­tic. Canada has com­mit­ted to des­ig­nat­ing 10 per cent of coastal waters as pro­tected ar­eas by 2020 un­der the UN Con­ven­tion on Bio­di­ver­sity.

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